Abu Dhabi: Around 300 riders have been entered for the FEI** 120km National Day Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The National Day Cup event will be divided into five stages of 33km, 27km, 24km, 20km and 16km. The big event will be preceded by the running of the Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners, which will be held at the same venue on Friday.

Adnan Sultan, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Lara Sawaya, Director of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Globan Arabian Horse Racing Festival and head of IFAHR Ladies Racing, announced the two events at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel on Wednesday.

“Some of the top UAE and international riders are expected to take part,” Al Nuaimi said. “We are celebrating the 41st anniversary of the National Day and, on this occasion, we are delighted to provide plenty of good news for the contenders who will be lucky enough to take part in the ride.

“These will include a total purse of Dh500,000 in prize money, plus a brand new car, which will be driven home by the winner.”

In the Al Wathba Cup for private owners, which is a CEN 100km ride, participants are required to cover the distance in four stages of 33km, 27km, 24km and 16km. Another total purse of Dhs500,000 plus a new car is up for grabs and so far 70 participants have been confirmed.

Sawaya said: “Preparations are well in place for the National Day Cup race, which is considered the most prestigious and valuable event of the endurance racing season, in addition to the Wathba Stud Challenge Cup for Private UAE owners only.”

Meanwhile, regarding arrangements for the World Arabian Horse Conference 2013, Sawaya said: “The details will be announced at 12 noon on 12/12/12 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris and 360 representatives will be covering the announcement.

“Arrangements are also in top gear for the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards. The first leg of the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Championship (IFAHR) will kick-off at Al Flaij Racecourse in Oman on January 17, 2013, as part of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival. The festival will also take part in the one of the biggest Equine Fairs in the Sultanate.”

Sawaya also confirmed that the Polish Parliament has invited the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival to address MPs on December 10 on its marketing and promotional plans before heading for France.

Also present at Wednesday’s press conference were Mubarak Rasheed Al Nuaimi, International Promotion Manager for Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA), Talal Al Hashemi of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), Stephen Bowey of Invest AD, and Ahyam Ali Hamad, Sales and Marketing Manager of Areej Ameerat.